Sunday, February 28, 2010

What's up Netflix- a week in review

This was a good week for movies at my house- all 4 and 5 star entries! I've been on a bit of a horror movie kick (as you can see), and also watched "Cabin Fever" again. I understand Eli Roth's reason's for only releasing the director's cut on Blueray, but that doesn't help me at all! So, if I know you and you have Blueray, how about a movie night??

Dead Snow- 5 stars-- Oh wow! What can I say about "Dead Snow" (Død Snø)? Let me start by saying I love Scandinavian horror (queue up "Let the Right One In' and "Cold Prey" now!). I heard about this film a while ago on a movie blog- Nazi zombies terrorize and kill a group of Norwegian skiers? Heck yea! I was not disappointed. When a group of med students decide to spend Easter break at a remote ski lodge, they didn't intend to be hunted down by Nazi zombie's who had been cursed by the townspeople. The film follows the basic formula of any horror movie: intro to group (at least one is slutty, one nerdy, one attractive, and one who seems like he shouldn't be friends w/these people); show them having fun; at least one couple has sex; mayhem ensues. What separated this movie from the rest was the mixture of sub-genre elements. It paid homage to classic and neo-classic films (Halloween, Scream), it was disgusting (Dead Alive, Cabin Fever), it was funny (Evil Dead, Shaun of the Dead), and it was, for the most part, smart (28 Days Later, Zombieland). The pacing is great. Once the blood started flowing I couldn't tell whether to cover my eyes or laugh out loud (which I did several times). The effects look great, the camera angles are sharp and clear, the whole movie is a delight from start to finish. I just hope Norway can keep up with my demand for more expertly made horror films. Think they could cast Lasse Valdal in a few more?? Please?

Whiteout- 4 stars—Don't be fooled by other reviews; "Whiteout" is a fun night at home in front of the TV. Based on a graphic novel (so that should lend some consideration), it breaks no new ground in movie making or suspense but is enjoyable none the less. Personally, I thought it was going to be more like Carpenter's "The Thing", but was surprised to see it was more a procedural thriller. Beckinsale has perfected her American accent and is only mildly annoying opposite Tom Skerritt and Gabriel Macht (where has he been? Let's just all forget about "The Spirit" and give the guy another chance. He's adorable!). Anyone who is a fan of suspense/thrillers both in book or movie form, will see the twists coming and not buy into what the director wants you to think; however it's limiting to say that ruins the movie experience. Personally, I like being more clever than the film; it makes me feel smart and important… Kinda like a US Marshal??? It's fun to solve the case moments before the character. You get to relive that "ah-ha" moment and say "I knew it"! Whiteout won't win any awards and I understand why it didn't do better at the theatres, but it is definitely worth a look on DVD, especially if you are a fan of any of the actors or survivalist thrillers.
Vampire Killers (aka Lesbian Vampire Killers)- 4 stars—Another movie I've been waiting for since what seems like forever. In the tradition of "Shaun of the Dead" and "American Werewolf in London", "Killers" focuses on two hapless losers who decide to go on holiday after their lives fall apart. Needless to say, hilarity and gore ensue. It turns out the sleepy hamlet they chose as their destination is under a centuries old vampire curse, turning all the women of the village into lesbian vampires on their 18th birthday. Fun! The movie isn't quite sure what it wants to be when it opens- each chapter is proceeded (literally) by comic book pages, the sound effects seem over the top considering the lack of action, but the writing is top notch. Once the movie gets going, it all falls into place as our hero's must work to save a van load of Swedish girls from the clutches of the lesbian vamps. There's gore (and a creative new approach to the dying vampire scene) and nudity (but not really pornographic). It's a load of fun and I only wish I had gotten to see it in a crowded theatre- the hooting and hollering would have been amazing!

The September Issue- 4 stars— Whether you care about Vogue or not, this is an interesting look into the publishing world. Set around the release of the now classic September issue (that's the really thick one), the docu-crew get up close and somewhat personal with the reclusive Anna Wintour (she's the basis for "The Devil Wears Prada"). Wintour comes off well and I enjoyed seeing a personality behind her trademark dark sunglasses. The star is certainly long time creative director Grace who fights and pouts over photo shoot's. Unlike "Valentino: The Last Emperor", I felt like I got a more behind the scenes look at what goes on at the top fashion magazine in America. The extras are equally funny, especially one in which Editor-at-Large Andre Leon-Talley talks about the importance of custom shirts and shorts.

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh, thanks for the reminder about "The September Issue." Off I go to update my Netflix queue!